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GameMaker 7

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OK, Game Maker 7 came out some time ago, and I never really looked at it, since I pretty much ignored GM7 after it came out because I was busy learning Flash. But one of my friends still uses GM and I decided to get it. I looked at some of the new features, and realized GM had the possibility to load in content from external files. That made me think that GM might actually have a chance at doing some nice stuff, since I don't have to store all of my data in a .exe file. Then I was looking at the extensions, and apparently you can extend GM with C++. That made me want to pretty much make my version of GM rock. I decided with this new function, GM7 can do some awesome stuff. So I like it again. Anyone think it could have a chance? I mean, they are rewriting GM so in version 8 it will be written in C++(it wasn't before, it was just obvious because it was so slow), so it will be very fast, and with the extensions, I bet I could get GM running blazing fast. Maybe they will try to make it multi platform soon(it uses Direct X for 3D functions, and it only creates .exe files). So, anyone think it will rock soon(I do!)?

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Game maker has always been a pretty good option, and it's a shame that you've taken till now to recognise it. Game Maker has always been more capable than the average person gives it credit for, and if you've able to work with it well you'll be able to produce excellent results in a fraction of the time of someone working from scratch. If you think you'll be able to work with it you should definately give it a go. I know of at least one commercially succesful indie game created using Game Maker.


Note: This post edited from a somewhat less encouraging drunken version.

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Ok, well then I should try it more, and test it's capabilities. I think the problem lies in speed, and if the 3D was faster, I would use it ALOT more. I hope they work on that. Maybe I should work on making Game Maker a better program, and the communities a better place, alot of the people in those forums are kind of weird. I want to work on this, because GM is a great start for a great program. If they make it multi platform, that program will go far.

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Quote:
Original post by Jedimace
Ok, well then I should try it more, and test it's capabilities. I think the problem lies in speed, and if the 3D was faster, I would use it ALOT more. I hope they work on that. Maybe I should work on making Game Maker a better program, and the communities a better place, alot of the people in those forums are kind of weird. I want to work on this, because GM is a great start for a great program. If they make it multi platform, that program will go far.


Be aware: Game Maker 7's 3D is VERY limited, but there is a DLL you can use called Ultimate3D. You should check it out.
http://ultimate3d.org/

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I know it is limited. That is why I quit using it. I think that may be fixed in the future though.

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It's limited because it's supposed to be simple. That's kinda the point of Game Maker. To allow beginners to write games, not advanced programmers. If you want more power than Game Maker can deliver, use something more powerful then. Often (though not always) with power comes complexity though. But if Game Maker has everything you want, then what are you waiting for... get to work and make a game! :D

As for me, I don't know if it will "rock" soon. I hope so though. The world's just a better place when better software is created.

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Well, from what I've seen from Game Maker, it has enough flexibility for anythihg I want. The problem is is it fast enough? That's what I want fixed in GM8. Also, multi platform would be nice too.

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Quote:
Original post by ed209
You still can't use masks.


What do you mean? Also, Ultimate 3D approved. I think GM7 can handle what I am trying to do with ease. Expecially when GM8 comes out written in C++.

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Ah yes, if you're after 3d you may want to look into other options - by all means see if you can do what you want using GM, but 3d isn't really what it was intended for and therefore isn't a strong area of the tool.

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Well, I looked into U3D, and seeing as how it can handle a game and all of it's logic at 30 FPS, it will do good enough for me. Especially when GM8 comes out in C++ and is multiplatform. You have to extend GM to get good 3D. = )

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GM is a very powerful tool with great features. I used to work with it a lot, back in the GM3/4 days when software 3D renders were really cool (I used to have a project in the GM forums that could load and render simple solid 3D models with lighting and per-face colors all using GML; the goal was a Starfox like game without the use of plugins or GM extension functions).

I don't know where your concerns with speed come from. GM has great performance considering all of the abstraction it provides. I've only ever run into speed issues on older systems running projects that either contained a lot of large graphics or thousands of objects (objects are often very overused and abused in GM, IMHO). Often, this could be fixed by more carefully designing the project.

I haven't looked into GM since version 7 was released and hosted by YoYo Games. Are you sure it will be multiplatform? GM was built using Delphi and the runtime uses DirectX, neither of which are cross platform technologies. Unless they're making some utterly massive overhaul, I can't see how it'll ever become portable (and such an overhaul will likely introduce all sorts of new problems/bugs and other things users don't want to see). Still, that would be very awesome, as I don't use Windows on my home computers and working in a VM is annoying. (btw, I can attest to GM running fine in a VM, another example of good performance).

One thing I never tried to do was create a 3D game using the built-in Direct3D access or plugins (DLLs). I just don't think GM is suited to this. In fact, I felt it was easier to create math/rendering GML scripts and work in software-based 3D than to use the built-in functions or extensions. In any case, GM is built for 2D... and it is very good at it. :-)

I still play with GM occasionally and have found it to be a great drafting and prototyping tool for projects that eventually are implemented from the ground up.

I'd give it a try. I don't think you have any reason to abandon the GM platform.

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The problem with speed isn't that it won't run, the problem is it won't run well with huge projects in 3D. The Tech Demo for Ultimate 3D started running slow at the enviroment part. That was my computer at least, and I have to admit it can't run any new games. In GM8 it will be written in C++, so that may helpo with Multi Platform. I'm sure they are doing it. I'm not exactly sure if they are doing something like switch to OGL or some other rendering program, but it will be on the Mac for sure(unless they give up =)). I will use the Ultimate 3D plugin, which wouldn't be in the same renderer as GM, so that get rids of the worries about the built in functions. Ultimate 3d(ultimate3d.org), as far as I can see, is the one thing I have been looking for for a very long time, seeing as how it runs fast and it still is extremely easy. Speed of creating games is one thing I absolutely need, seeing as how I have 4 programmers, 2 working on one project, the other two working on another, 2 Graphics designers, and one game tester(he's kinda just mooching off of us, but whatever). Not a very large team. So I need something like this. And U3D has pretty much everything I ever wanted. It's like I'm in a freaking dream. Also, it will make game design more fun I think. All day I have been excited about developing games with this amazing tool. I'm pretty much convinced that I am using Game Maker for everything, with the new extensions, and GM8 being in C++. Thanks redfeild for the link, it is an amazing thing.

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Wow, this blog entry confirms that YoYo Games does plan to make Game Maker 8 cross platform (even for consoles and smart phones)! Hopefully this'll also lead to a version that'll run in alternative operating systems like Linux.

One thing about the "runner" being rewritten in C++: I've discovered numerous threads both inside and outside the GM community about this. It's basically the same old flame war about, "Language X is faster than language Y!" In short, we're comparing Delphi and C++ (both of which are compiled languages. Delphi is a higher level language, sure, but as has been discussed over and over again in this forum, that doesn't necessarily mean that C++ is any faster. In short, the only reason Sandy Duncan and company chose C++ is that it is better supported on other platforms.

Since Mac support is officially planned, I have to imagine that OpenGL will be used for graphics (and SDL will probably power everything else, I'm sure). This should open the door up for Linux support as well. w00t!

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There will not be any noticeable speed difference with respect to GM8 and GM7. GM8 will remain uncompiled. So the only differences will be compatibility with Mac. Dephi is just as fast as C++, which is what GM7 was compiled with. Also, Ultimate 3D is greatly hampered by GM. It can run much faster in C++, which is what the DLL was natively compiled with. GM is just about the slowest language you can find on the Internet.

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I heard that GM8 would be compiled. It even said in that blog they were gonna work on that. And I'm sure C++ makes it a little faster, and that'ss all it needs, just 5-10 fps.

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A more likely reason for switching away from Delphi is that its days are clearly numbered. It was great back when Borland were at their peak, but Anders Hejlsberg, Delphi's creator, is now even more famous for having helped build C# and the .NET platform it relies on these days. Far fewer people use Delphi today. Its star is fading.

As for speed: one advantage a complete rewrite of *any* engine offers is the requirement to reappraise all your old code. GM7 is likely to have tons of old, legacy cruft and hackery built up over the years. Starting afresh lets them throw all that stuff out and start again with a clean slate (or as close as they can possibly get.) It's an opportunity to learn from all their mistakes and build something better. A simple change of algorithm could produce massive performance improvements. That same algorithm might well have been just as fast in Delphi, but they might not have been able to justify the effort of rewriting that section had they decided to stick with the older language.

In summary: there are plenty of reasons to assume that GM8 will perform better than GM7 that have nothing whatsoever to do with the choice of language and everything to do with the process of ripping out old code and starting afresh.


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Well, I have a problem. Even though GM is nice, I would like to program in C++ with U3D if that is an option. Problem is I don't know how to get the version into C++. Does anyone know where to get a C++ version? *glances at Ean*

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I believe one of the past winners of the GDNET 4E contest was made with Game Maker. Ninja Loves Pirate or some similar title IIRC.

Game Maker is absolutely a good tool for the right job.
You always have to keep in mind though, that the artist is what makes the painting, far more than what tools he uses.

[Edited by - Kal_Torak on July 15, 2008 3:55:05 AM]

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GM is an excellent tool for creating simple games. If you want to make 3d games, I wouldn't recommend it. The developers have made it very clear that for some reason they do not want to make GM more powerful; they are focusing on making it simpler, which in turn makes it somewhat less powerful. The GM community has tried to make DLLs for just about everything you can think of, so you can basically do anything in GM. The biggest problem is that you end up using DLLs for almost everything and pretty soon you realize that you may as well be programming in C++.

If you want to make 2d platform games, I don't think there is anything better than GM. If you want to make anything relatively complex, you start to find better options. When you start talking about 3d games, honestly, you're wasting your time.

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Quote:
Original post by Kal_Torak
I believe one of the past winners of the GDNET 4E contest was made with Game Maker. Ninja Loves Pirate or some similar title IIRC.
That's sadly enough a misunderstanding. Ninja loves Pirate was created by students at the swedish game development school called Game Maker.

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I always laugh wqhen I read this, Delphi was never (ment to be) a game dev language to begin with, and it is now focusing even more on databases; so it will stick around some more. The popularity of the language Delphi itself is not really fading; actually it is growing as open source alternatives are freely available (such as Lazarus/freepascal); think of all the third world countries wanna-be devs who like the clear, powerful structure of it.

But to the point; I've heard Blitzbasic has some cool 3d stuff too; and it is more flexible than GM.

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Quote:
Original post by Jedimace
I heard that GM8 would be compiled. It even said in that blog they were gonna work on that. And I'm sure C++ makes it a little faster, and that'ss all it needs, just 5-10 fps.


Perhaps you heard that from an illegitimate source? Or you misheard that "GM will be 'compiled' with C++?" Any speed increases, will be highly localized (certain functions may undergo a noticeable improvement.)

Ultimate3D, is a DLL that was made with C++. So it should be compatible with C++ (though you will have to use doubles.)

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Quote:
Original post by stimarco

A more likely reason for switching away from Delphi is that its days are clearly numbered. It was great back when Borland were at their peak, but Anders Hejlsberg, Delphi's creator, is now even more famous for having helped build C# and the .NET platform it relies on these days. Far fewer people use Delphi today. Its star is fading.

As for speed: one advantage a complete rewrite of *any* engine offers is the requirement to reappraise all your old code. GM7 is likely to have tons of old, legacy cruft and hackery built up over the years. Starting afresh lets them throw all that stuff out and start again with a clean slate (or as close as they can possibly get.) It's an opportunity to learn from all their mistakes and build something better. A simple change of algorithm could produce massive performance improvements. That same algorithm might well have been just as fast in Delphi, but they might not have been able to justify the effort of rewriting that section had they decided to stick with the older language.

In summary: there are plenty of reasons to assume that GM8 will perform better than GM7 that have nothing whatsoever to do with the choice of language and everything to do with the process of ripping out old code and starting afresh.

Yeah he already did it once before but it doesn't sound like he's planning on rewriting it for version 8 from what I could gather ,only parts of it?
Then again maybe he will have to rewrite everything since it is based on DX 8.0 and maybe that is why Mac version is taking so long since it seems everyone is waiting for that?

In january 2001 I decided that I had to redo Game Maker. I rewrote it completely from scratch, using all that I learned over the years. The interface was completely changed. The new version was also not compatible with the old version. The new red color of the icon symbolised that. Version 4.0 was released in july 2001. It was followed by 4.1 in december (which in particular added multiplayer support). Popularity increased further. In december there where 32.000 downloads. In the whole of 2001 the program was downloaded about 270.000 times.
Game Maker is written in Delphi (version 7 at the moment). Almost all the code was written by Mark Overmars except for a few freeware components to read different image formats and to compress the data. The Game Maker source code is over 40.000 lines of code. The source code for the runner part is similar in size.

The maker part is heavily based on the Windows API. This makes it rather difficult to port it to a different platform. The runner part is based on DirectX (version 8.0 at the moment to keep it compatible with most older computers). Again, this makes it difficult to port it to other platforms. Don't expect versions that can make games for e.g. hand-held devices because of the many incomptibilities.

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